A second opposition to Arizona civil forfeiture laws has been filed by the Institute of Justice.
Touted as an important weapon with which the State can combat crime, by operation of law police can seize and institute forfeiture proceedings against property found incident to a criminal arrest, including property that does not belong to the person arrested.
The forfeiture laws do not require a criminal conviction, and meeting the burden of proof for any crime, but merely require an arrest in order to proceed with the forfeiture. In addition the appeals procedure is onerous and prohibitive, making the contester liable for the government’s legal and investigative fees if they do not prevail at a 100% level. Opponents state this system weighs in favor of the government, and provides an incentive to profit without having to prove any crime.
The property seized, reported to be more than $36 million dollars in 2015, is then to be utilized by State prosecutors and police departments.
A similar filing was made by the ACLU in federal court last year, which is still pending.
For more information, and to read about a couple who have been victimized by the Arizona civil forfeiture laws, see the dcourier.com article below: